As I sit on our couch on this Thanksgiving night, after just folding yet another load of laundry, I prop my feet up on our coffee table right next to a big pile of socks I have yet to pair together, I feel the need to write. We’re all so grateful for so many things in life and this day reminds us to be grateful for somethings we take for granted.
Many instances in my life have taught me to appreciate the little things, take nothing for granted and love unconditionally. This day, being another Thanksgiving without my Mummum and my first without my Grandma D, brings me to tears. I’m supposed to be grateful every day and especially on this day, so before my eyes get too watery I stop.. I stop being selfish and I stop (well I try) being sad. I change the game going on in my head and I start being grateful.
Grateful that I got to live with Mummum, actually wake up and go to bed in the room right next to hers for 16 years. Grateful that she taught me to be tough like her while loving unconditionally. Grateful that she never missed a birthday, a holiday, a dance recital, or a chance to pretend she knew the words to the songs we’d listen to in the car. Grateful that she never used a map, EVER. And how it was all apart of the adventure (and her plan) to get lost every single time we went on a road trip. And although it will forever hurt my heart that she never got to meet Christian, I am grateful that it was Christian who gave me the courage to see her one last time. Grateful that when I told her the name of the boy I was dating, without opening her eyes said, “That’s a perfect name”. And although she wasn’t physically at our wedding, she was there in every other way possible. In every picture, in every step, in every bird, in every sunflower, in every song and in every smile.
For every ounce of toughness my Mummum had, my Grandma D had 2 ounces to match it! She told it how it was and never sugar coated anything. I’m grateful for her love, sometimes tough love and always true love. I was her first grandchild. Not every mother expects their kid to have a baby at 17, but when my dad told her he was expecting, she was ECSTATIC. Being the Italian little grandma she was she couldn’t wait to meet me! I’m so incredibly grateful that she welcomed me with open arms. That she brought our family together for every holiday. I’m grateful that we all got to eat her Italian christmas cookies for years. I’m grateful that she got to meet, get to know and fall in love with Christian. She fell so much in love with him that while baking a cake one year she dropped an extra special knob in the batter and when cutting the slices, gave Christian the one with the mixing knob in it! And while he thought we all were playing a joke on him, Grandma just says “oh that’s where that thing went, I’ve been looking everywhere for it!” I’m grateful she came with me to my very first and my very last dress fitting. I’m grateful that she may have wanted Christian and I to get married more than anyone else on this entire planet and couldn’t speed up time fast enough for it to get here. I’m grateful that, although her health worsened before the wedding, I could feel her with me all day long. I wish she could have heard the song I walked down the isle too. I wish I could have thanked her for holding on for us. But I feel as though it was her plan all along. The night before she passed she was in my dream. She was healthy again and telling me how great she felt. When I woke up the next day it was the last day of our Honeymoon and we were packing up to get on the plane. That day I knew I was going to gain another angel.
So as I sit here, still very much teary eyed, I am so incredibly grateful to have been surrounded by amazing women. I hope to be as strong and as loving as they were. The last thing Mummum said to me was “I expect nothing but the best from you”. She was tough, and knew how to tell me what to do. I’ve been living everyday with that phrase in my head. And I just hope I’m making them both proud.